1 9 9 1 (UK)
6 x 25 minute episodes
Cannon and Ball laid claim to being Britain’s top comedy duo and, after 25 in show business, proved continually that they were stars of live theatre and able to pack out any show.
But they hadn’t been able to translate that appeal to television and, quite rightly, some of their previous series’ were heavily criticised. Here, at last, they looked to have a better vehicle for their talents.
Plaza Patrol was their first television sitcom and, cast as two security guards in a shopping precinct, they were seen to advantage and could feel pleased with their work.
Tommy and Bobby were clearly in it for the laughs and not to trouble the BAFTA judges, but they handled many face-to-face talking heads scenes nicely. As Bernard and Trevor, the two security men spent most of their time arguing with each other.
They weren’t as daft as when playing their usual variety sketches but they were up against that well-established division between northern and southern humour. Hardly any south-of-Watford comics ever did well up in the top half, and by saying “he never fuelled (meaning fooled) me” Cannon and Ball were emphasising their Oldham roots.
This short series from Yorkshire Television may not have been compulsive viewing, but it had a measure of laughs and was far better than anything Cannon and Ball had presented in the past.
The scripts were by Richard Lewis and Louis Robinson.